Marcus Stroman was traded to the New York Mets on Sunday, three days before the trade deadline. In return the Toronto Blue Jays received pitching prospects Anthony Kay and Simeon Woods Richardson in return. With this trade the Mets have strengthened an already strong rotation as they try and make a push for a wildcard spot.
With the New York Mets being six games behind the second wildcard spot at the time of the trade. It is surprising that the Mets have opted to strengthen the major league roster at the expense of future prospects. However, Stroman is under control through the 2020 season so this move is about next season just as much as this season. When you consider the prospects given up as will this is a sensible move by the Mets.
Anthony Kay was a late first round pick by the Mets. He has a very good curveball and has climbed up the minors this season but has struggled in Triple-A so far. Kay’s strong performances in the lower minors may have attracted the Blue Jays to him but there is still a lot of uncertainty about what sort of player he will end up as. Best case scenario Kay could be a middle of the rotation starter for a contender, similar to the level that Stroman is, but it seems that it will be a couple of years until he reaches that level. Of course it is equally likely that Kay continues to struggle and does not even reach that level.
Simeon Woods-Richardson was a second round pick out of high school and is still only 18. Woods-Richardson has good potential but is so far away from the majors and has never been a top rated prospect, so it is very hard to predict how his career will go.
Although Mets fans may be disappointed giving up these prospects, neither of them are guaranteed to be productive major leaguers. They were two of the top prospects in the Mets farm system but when you compare them to prospects around baseball it seems like a very low price to pay for a controllable starter having a great year. The fact that neither Kay or Woods-Richardson have ever been on a top 100 prospect list demonstrates the value in this deal from the Mets point of view.
The fact that the Mets are unlikely to make the postseason this year does not necessarily make this a bad trade. The Mets have a very strong young roster and they should be better next year. Even if they are not better they could trade Stroman next year and will likely get similar prospect value back. Building a strong farm system and waiting for prospects to come through, like some would prefer, is very unlikely to put the Mets in a stronger position than they are right now.
The Mets had an opportunity to get good value for some average prospects and they took it. If one of the prospects given up exceeds expectations then this may be looked back on as a bad trade but from this position the Mets have gotten a very good deal. By acquiring Stroman, the Mets have made a move to try and win games at a time when a lot of teams are content to wait for prospects.